With all of the joy and disappointments of Week 1 out of the way, now it’s time to focus on the Week 2 game previews!
Before we jump right in, I wanted to take a moment to point the readers to some of the wonderful tools and regularly featured articles around the site that will help your Fantasy research become much easier each week.
First, Devin Jordan just released his Fantasy Football Strength of Comparison Tool. You can compare the performances of different players in different situations, and this looks at data from the previous year to help you try and predict what can happen in a game.
Week 2 is going to be action-packed, so let’s get started by looking at one of the lowest projected total scores of the schedule.
NFL Week 2 Game Previews
Houston Texans vs. Carolina Panthers
Favorite: Carolina Panthers
Greg Olsen originally looked like a lock to see more targets because of Kelvin Benjamin’s absence, but Olsen may have to serve more as a blocker in this game to help protect Cam Newton from the relentless pressure of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. While Jerricho Cotchery is one of the more reliable receivers Newton has to work with, you won’t be able to rely on him for a weekly basis.
Until Arian Foster returns to the lineup, one of the only players on Houston you want in your Fantasy lineups is DeAndre Hopkins. Even if he sees extensive coverage, Brian Hoyer or Ryan Mallett will target him heavily. Because of the loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the defensive unit saw a nice drop in price on DFS sites. With a depleted offense, the Texans’ defense will be a great undervalued buy against Newton and the Panthers in Week 2.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Favorite: Pittsburgh Steelers
With some help from Carlos Hyde, ‘BALLAH’ just won $2 MILLION on DraftKings! pic.twitter.com/St7wgYBgtI
— DraftKings (@DraftKings) September 15, 2015
I wanted nothing to do with Carlos Hyde this season, but he looked very sharp in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. The defense simply had no answer for him and much like the Vikings, the Steelers will also have a difficult time containing the second-year back. Colin Kaepernick seemed much more patient in his season opener than in previous seasons, and Vernon Davis saw more involvement like the team had hinted at during the offseason. Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith also have a familiarity with this defense, so their production could see a boost in Week 2.
Le’Veon Bell is still serving his suspension, so Roethlisberger will continue to rely heavily on Heath Miller and Antonio Brown. DeAngelo Williams had a strong presence in the rushing attack against the Patriots, but his game was lacking for PPR owners since he only hauled in one catch. If the 49ers can limit their mistakes and can continue to ride the hot hand of Hyde, Roethlisberger may find himself trying to play catch up. After this game, Fantasy owners should look into selling their shares of Miller while he is still Fantasy relevant.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New Orleans Saints
Location: New Orleans
Favorite: New Orleans Saints
This is one of the highest spreads for Week 2, and the New Orleans Saints are heavy favorites to win this game. Drew Brees wants to improve the efficiency of red-zone drives, and Brandon Coleman could serve as the perfect target to turn drives into touchdowns with his 6-foot-6 frame. C.J. Spiller may return to action in this game, and he should soak up the increased receptions Mark Ingram saw in Week 1.
Very few Fantasy players would rush out and pick up the Saints’ defense, but Jameis Winston could have you streaming a defense often this season. Things should be a little bit better if Mike Evans can make the start, but Winston is going to have a long learning curve throughout the season. The Saints allowed the fifth-most points to running backs last season, so this could be the matchup where Doug Martin returns to his rookie form.
Detroit Lions vs. Minnesota Vikings
Favorite: Minnesota Vikings
If I ever saw Teddy Bridgewater standing on a bridge holding a teddy bear while drinking water I think my head would explode, man.
— Jon Gruden (@Faux_Gruden) September 15, 2015
The entire offense for the Lions was out of sync in Week 1, so don’t panic and try to dump your Calvin Johnson shares just yet. Average investors generally enter the stock market and leave it at the wrong times, and Fantasy Football players exhibit similar behaviors by selling some of their top picks for pennies on the dollar. Ameer Abdullah is a bright spot for this offense, but the Lions seemed determined to keep him in a committee role with Joique Bell and Theo Riddick.
Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater didn’t leave much of an impression on Monday Night Football. It appeared that Charles Johnson would turn into Bridgewater’s most reliable target before the start of the season, but Bridgewater relied on Mike Wallace for several shorter passes. This will be a close game as the spread indicates, so don’t expect a ton of action between these division rivals.
Arizona Cardinals vs. Chicago Bears
Favorite: Arizona Cardinals
If you waited on quarterbacks and drafted Carson Palmer or even just own him as a backup, you are going to have a strong season. The rushing attack is a little bit up in the air, however, as Andre Ellington will miss several weeks with a PCL strain. Bruce Arians said he doesn’t like to rely on rookies too heavily, so Chris Johnson is going to get the start against the Bears.
The departure of Marc Trestman didn’t seem to affect Matt Forte, as the 29-year old back recorded 141 rushing yards against the Green Bay Packers. Arizona will be a tougher test, but it doesn’t look like age or less work as a receiver will diminish Forte’s Fantasy production. Martellus Bennett saved his day for Fantasy owners with a late touchdown, and Alshon Jeffery was serviceable even though the extent of his injuries was murky heading into the game. We will see if the Bears try to get Eddie Royal more involved for Week 2.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills
Favorite: New England Patriots
I scoffed at the close spread when the Bills squared off against the Indianapolis Colts, but Vegas got it right and the Bills held their own. LeSean McCoy may be able to see more work this work, but don’t be surprised if you see him lose touches to Karlos Williams. Sammy Watkins had trouble finding production against the Patriots last season, but that was when Darrelle Revis was still in town.
LeGarrette Blount returns from his one-game suspension, so it’s probably time to start looking to sell your shares of Dion Lewis sooner rather than later. Tom Brady will continue to heavily focus on finding Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. It will be interesting to find out Rex Ryan’s plans to shut them down.
San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Old Andy Dalton didn’t look too bad in Week 1, and I highlighted in August why he would be a sleeper. This is going to be a game filled with Fantasy points, but it’s hard to predict if Tyler Eifert will continue to see the most production or if A.J. Green gets more involved.
Philip Rivers turned Stevie Johnson, Keenan Allen, Ladarius Green and Danny Woodhead into strong Fantasy producers last weekend, and he probably has the same in store for Week 2. Those who invested an early-round pick in Melvin Gordon are hoping he has more involvement, but he’s going to continue to lose out on touches to Woodhead.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cleveland Browns
Favorite: Cleveland Brown
— NFL (@NFL) September 16, 2015
As tempting as it may seem to start Marcus Mariota, this is going to be a much tougher match. Vegas doesn’t think too much will happen because of the spread, and Mariota will have a fun time against Joe Haden. With Delanie Walker having a potential questionable status, look for even more work for Kendall Wright.
The Browns are just as underwhelming as ever. Who can Johnny Manziel throw the ball to? The running game is awful with Duke Johnson still recovering from injuries and Isaiah Crowell not offering a whole lot of confidence for this backfield moving forward. You might have never considered starting the Titans’ defense in 2015, but this is the week to do it.
Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Giants
Location: East Rutherford
Favorite: New York Giants
Even though the Falcons’ defense had a hard time stopping Sam Bradford and company in the second half, Atlanta easily looked much more aggressive on defense then they have in recent memory. If you were lucky enough to draft Julio Jones then you hit a home run, and even Roddy White looked like he was in decent shape. Tevin Coleman showed a lot of patience, and it looks like he could gain an edge as a starting back. Keep an eye to see how Week 2 shakes out with Devonta Freeman healthier.
The Giants were very underwhelming, and Odell Beckham Jr. owners are still freaking out. The rushing attack looks serviceable but not very Fantasy friendly. This Giants are either going to offer redemption for Fantasy players in this matchup, or a poor performance may indicate the tone for the entire season.
St. Louis Rams vs. Washington Redskins
Favorite: St. Louis Rams
This is a close matchup, and I’m surprised that the Rams are only 2.5 point favorites. After Jarvis Landry carved up the special teams in Washington, Tavon Austin could offer a similar performance. Washington allowed the fifth-most Fantasy points to tight ends last season, so Jared Cook could turn into a cheap sleeper for you DFS players.
Outside of Jordan Reed, there isn’t a ton to like about this offense. While Alfred Morris showed why he is the starting back last week, Marshawn Lynch didn’t have a ton of success against the Rams in Week 1. Morris will probably be capped at around 65-80 rushing yards, and since he doesn’t catch passes, his value will be on the low side for Week 2.
Miami Dolphins vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Favorite: Miami Dolphins
Ryan Tannehill says the #Dolphins offense has a lot to improve from Week 1. Says execution needs to be better
— Greg Likens (@GregLikens) September 16, 2015
The Dolphins’ offense did not look like it had a ton of rapport with each other against Washington, but this should be the jumping off point for Ryan Tannehill to start a successful Fantasy season. If the Dolphins get ahead early, the brass may actually let Lamar Miller run the ball.
Allen Robinson crushed a lot of hopes and dreams in Week 1 (mine included), so I want to know if I overpaid for all his hype during the preseason. Blake Bortles reportedly suffered from a “dead arm” last season, but he didn’t do a lot to prove that things would be better in 2015.
Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders
Favorite: Baltimore Ravens
I saw the Ravens DST on a lot of my waiver wires this week, and I trade to add them whenever I could. If Matt McGloin gets the start, look for some interceptions to turn into touchdowns. This should be a week where Joe Flacco, Steve Smith and Justin Forsett can bounce back.
The Ravens made C.J. Anderson look awful last week, and Baltimore allowed the fewest Fantasy points to running backs in 2014. While I think Latavius Murray is a solid play for the whole year, he is most likely going to see less work with the Raiders down big time and McGloin as the potential quarterback.
Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Favorite: Philadelphia Eagles
Chip Kelly may be too smart for his own good and lulled the Falcons into a sense of security by the Eagles starting off slow. It seemed like Sam Bradford was ready for a faster pace to start the game, but he really turned on the engine in the second quarter with only four incompletions. We will get to see if DeMarco Murray gets to have a revenge game or Kelly still favors Darren Sproles.
Jason Witten and Cole Beasley should see a ton of targets with Dez Bryant sidelined. Kevin Street may even see some work to replace Bryant, and the Cowboys signed Brice Butler from the Raiders. Those aren’t good signs if you plan on starting Terrance Williams.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers
Location: Green Bay
Favorite: Green Bay
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) September 16, 2015
While Devante Adams saw the most targets in Week 1, James Jones was a touchdown hog and had all the fun. This could be a continuing trend, and Adams may not be as valuable as some have projected. Eddie Lacy will have a tough slope in this matchup.
New York Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts
Favorite: Indianapolis Colts
The formula for success for the Jets will be pretty simple: limited turnovers from Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brandon Marshall getting open for Fitzpatrick and Chris Ivory carrying the ball 20 or more times.
Rumors suggested the Houston Texans were glad to get rid of Andre Johnson, so this is a big game for Fantasy players who need to decide whether they can give the veteran a start moving forward. Frank Gore also needs to see more than eight carries to be worth starting. Owners of T.Y. Hilton are in a tough spot on whether to sit or start him before Sunday.
The So-Called Fantasy Experts wish you the best of luck in Week 2, and make sure to check out the staff rankings for this week to help make all your sit or start decisions a little easier.
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